I think No. 7 North Carolina has the potential to be the best team in the country by the end of the season. It appears that this year, there is not a dominant team at the top, like Kentucky and Wisconsin were a season ago.
North Carolina essentially returns its entire team, and they are currently 12-2 with wins against No.2 Maryland 89-81, Davidson 98-65, No. 22 UCLA 89-76, and Clemson 80-69. They lost on the road as the No. 1 team against Northern Iowa 71-67, and at Texas 84-82. I give credit to UNC for playing true road games, and I hope that the new AD for Pitt will make the non-conference schedule for impressive.
UNC isn’t necessarily a deep team, but they are experienced as all five starters average double figures. 6-foot-9 senior forward Brice Johnson averages 15.3 ppg and 9.6 rpg, senior guard Marcus Paige averages 15 ppg, 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Justin Jackson adds 13.4 ppg, 6-foot-9 junior center Kennedy Meeks 12.3 ppg, and sophomore guard Joel Berry II 12.1 ppg.
I’m considering making the trip to Chapel Hill for a Valentine’s Day treat. Pitt has played well against the Tar Heels, winning the last two of three contests, including a blowout last year at home and an ACC tournament elimination game.
Of course, other games such as home games against Louisville and Wake Forest and a road contest against Notre Dame just missed the cut.